Agrì di Valtorta • • Visit Bergamo

Agrì di Valtorta

Description


They call it “Valtorta’s women cheese”. Do you know why? Because it used to be made only by women, probably due to its long and demanding processing, which lasts three days. The history of Agrì begins in Valtorta, a small village in Brembana Valley: when it was hard to get to the bottom of the valley, women used to prepare the so-called “pasta di agro” or “sour cheese mass” (as it was slightly sour), wrap it into bundles, put it in baskets and bring it along the mountain pathways on foot. They used to walk a long distance till the village of Barzio, in Valsassina valley (passing by Ceresola and Piani di Bobbio), where they sold the cheese mass to cheese traders, so that they could make small cheeses, very similar to those you can find today.


Agrì is milk’s cow fresh cheese, small and deliciously sour. Today, there are still 12 livestock farmers in Valtorta valley - each one owning 10-12 cows – who give the raw milk to the village’s small cooperative, the only existing production workshop.

On the first day of processing, the milk gets curdled adding a small amount of “agro” (the serum of the day before) and a bit of rennet, then it rests. On the second day, the curd is transferred to some linen clothes hanging and dripping. On day three, the cheese mass is put into moulds for 24 hours. Finally it gets mixed with salt and shaped into small cylinders. It’s a great deal of work, considering that you have to wait for at least three days of aging!

Its taste is sweet at first, then savoury and bitter. The agrí’s aroma evolves: it is bitter at first, then become similar to melted butter, grass, and hay. If it is ripened, you can also feel notes of mushroom hazelnuts and dried fruit. It has a slightly sticky texture and a good solubility. 

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They call it “Valtorta’s women cheese”. Do you know why? Because it used to be made only by women, probably due to its long and demanding processing, which lasts three days. The history of Agrì begins in Valtorta, a small village in Brembana Valley: when it was hard to get to the bottom of the valley, women used to prepare the so-called “pasta di agro” or “sour cheese mass” (as it was slightly sour), wrap it into bundles, put it in baskets and bring it along the mountain pathways on foot. They used to walk a long distance till the village of Barzio, in Valsassina valley (passing by Ceresola and Piani di Bobbio), where they sold the cheese mass to cheese traders, so that they could make small cheeses, very similar to those you can find today.


Agrì is milk’s cow fresh cheese, small and deliciously sour. Today, there are still 12 livestock farmers in Valtorta valley - each one owning 10-12 cows – who give the raw milk to the village’s small cooperative, the only existing production workshop.

On the first day of processing, the milk gets curdled adding a small amount of “agro” (the serum of the day before) and a bit of rennet, then it rests. On the second day, the curd is transferred to some linen clothes hanging and dripping. On day three, the cheese mass is put into moulds for 24 hours. Finally it gets mixed with salt and shaped into small cylinders. It’s a great deal of work, considering that you have to wait for at least three days of aging!

Its taste is sweet at first, then savoury and bitter. The agrí’s aroma evolves: it is bitter at first, then become similar to melted butter, grass, and hay. If it is ripened, you can also feel notes of mushroom hazelnuts and dried fruit. It has a slightly sticky texture and a good solubility. 

Where you can find this product

Seasonality

It is produced year-round

Pairings

Terre del Colleoni D.O.C. white Incrocio Manzoni or yellow Moscato; Terre del Colleoni D.O.C. sparkling wine; Moscato di Scanzo D.O.C.G. a daring paring yet very appreciated by some sommelier. 

 

Curiosity

Dove puoi assaggiare l’Agrì di Valtorta elaborato in piatti della tradizione

Molte le proposte: ripieno di cannelloni, condimento di lasagne, salsa di carni bianche o pesci oppure torte salate: è da gustare inizialmente “nudo e crudo”!